How to Make Handfasting Cords: A Step-by-Step Guide

To make handfasting cords, you will need colored cords and a method for braiding them. Handfasting cords are an important part of many pagan and wiccan wedding ceremonies, symbolizing the binding of two people together in love and faith.

The cords themselves are often braided, with colors chosen for their symbolic meanings. The braiding itself can be simple or complex, depending on personal preference and skill level. Some people choose to incorporate beads or other decorations into the cords as well.

Once completed, the cords can be used during the wedding ceremony to bind the couple’s hands together, or they can be kept as a cherished memento of the occasion.

How to Make Handfasting Cords: A Step-by-Step Guide


Choosing The Right Materials

How To Make Handfasting Cords: A Step-By-Step Guide

Handfasting cords have been used for centuries to represent the bond between two individuals in a marriage ceremony. Choosing the right materials for your handfasting cords is vital, as they will not only serve as a physical representation of your commitment, but they will also be a reminder of your special day for years to come.

How To Select The Ideal Cotton Rope For Handfasting Cords

When choosing the right cotton rope for your handfasting cords, keep in mind that they should be strong, flexible, and easy to handle. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Choose a cotton rope that is at least 1/4 inch in diameter, as it will be easier to work with and will provide a durable finished product.
  • Look for rope that is 100% cotton, as it will be soft and pliable. Avoid synthetic materials, like polyester, which can be stiff and abrasive against the skin.
  • Consider the texture of the cotton rope, as it can add even more meaning to your handfasting ceremony. For example, a twisted rope can symbolize the joining of two lives, while a braided rope can represent the intertwining of two paths.

How To Choose Cord Colors Based On Your Intentions And Significance

The colors of your handfasting cords can be based on your intention and the significance of the ceremony. Here are a few key points to consider:

  • White represents purity and new beginnings, while red represents passion and strength. Choose colors that resonate with you and your partner’s beliefs and values.
  • Consider incorporating colors that represent your heritage or cultural traditions, for a personalized touch.
  • It’s also common to use a combination of colors to represent different aspects of your relationship, such as love, trust, and commitment.

Insight Into Materials To Avoid, Such As Synthetic And Abrasive Cords

It’s important to avoid synthetic and abrasive cords when making your handfasting cords, as they can be uncomfortable against the skin and may not hold up over time. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Synthetic materials, like nylon and polyester, can be rough and abrasive against the skin. They may also not be as strong as natural fibers, like cotton or silk.
  • When selecting cord, avoid anything that has a rough texture or is difficult to handle. You want your handfasting cords to be easy to work with and comfortable to wear.
  • Consider the long-term wear and tear of the cords. Natural fibers have a better chance of holding up over time, ensuring that your handfasting cords remain a cherished keepsake for years to come.

Selecting the right materials for your handfasting cords is a personal choice that should be based on your intentions, values, and beliefs. With these tips, you can create a set of handfasting cords that are not only visually stunning but also meaningful representations of your commitment to each other.

Steps For Making Handfasting Cords

Handfasting is a beautiful and ancient tradition of celtic origin that celebrates the joining of two people in marriage. It involves the binding of the couple’s hands with cords or ribbons, which are known as handfasting cords. If you’re interested in creating your own handfasting cords, this step-by-step guide has got you covered.

Here are the key steps involved in making handfasting cords:

Step 1: Planning And Preparing

Before you begin making your handfasting cord, there are a few things you’ll need to consider:

  • Determine the length of the cord based on how you’ll be using it. If you’re planning on binding just the couple’s hands, a shorter cord of around 6 feet should be sufficient. However, if you’re planning to include guests in the ceremony or wrap the cord around the couple multiple times, you’ll want a longer cord of around 10-15 feet.
  • Choose the material for your cord. Traditional handfasting cords were made from natural materials such as hemp, wool, or cotton. However, you can also use ribbon, lace, or other decorative materials to create a unique cord that reflects your personal style.
  • Decide on the color scheme for your cord. Consider using colors that have significance to you and your partner, or that represent the elements or seasons. For example, red and gold could symbolize passion and abundance, while green and brown could represent growth and stability.

Step 2: Preparing The Cord

Now that you’ve planned your cord, it’s time to prepare the materials:

  • Cut your material to the desired length using scissors or a rotary cutter.
  • If you’re using ribbon or another material that’s prone to fraying, use a lighter to carefully melt the edges. This will seal them and prevent fraying.
  • If you’re using multiple strands of material, line them up and tie a knot at one end to secure them together.

Step 3: Weaving And Braiding

With your cord prepared, it’s time to start weaving and braiding:

  • Divide your cord into three equal sections if you’re braiding, or an even number of sections if you’re weaving.
  • Begin braiding or weaving the cord together, making sure to keep the tension even throughout. You may want to use a clip or clamp to secure the end of the cord to a table or other surface to make this step easier.
  • Continue braiding or weaving until you reach the end of the cord, then tie a knot to secure the end.

Step 4: Adding Unique Touches

Finally, you can add some unique touches to your handfasting cord to make it truly personal:

  • Consider adding beads, charms, or other decorative elements to the cord. You could choose items that represent your personal beliefs, hobbies, or interests, or that have special significance to you and your partner.
  • You could also incorporate an infinity symbol, celtic knot, or other symbol of your love and commitment into the design.
  • Don’t forget to bless your cord with love and intention as you create it. You might light candles or incense, play music, or say a prayer to infuse your cord with positive energy.

Remember, your handfasting cord is a symbol of your love and commitment, so it’s important to take the time to create something meaningful and beautiful. With a little planning and creativity, you can create a cord that will be treasured for years to come.

Decorating The Handfasting Cords

Adding beads, gemstones, or other decorative components to the handfasting cords:

  • Incorporating beads, gemstones, or other decorative components to the handfasting cords can add a touch of elegance and personality to your wedding ceremony.
  • Beads or gemstones can represent the couple’s favorite colors, birthstones, or even offer symbolic meanings.
  • There are many different options to choose from, ranging from natural stone beads, wooden beads, glass beads, and more.
  • You can mix and match different colors and shapes to create a unique and personalized look that fits your wedding theme.

Ideas for incorporating natural elements, such as dried flowers or leaves:

  • Dried flowers or leaves can bring a touch of nature and create a romantic setting during your ceremony.
  • You can use flowers that have a special meaning for the couple, such as the ones from the bride’s bouquet, or include herbs with symbolic meanings, such as lavender for devotion or sage for wisdom.
  • Another option is to use leaves from trees such as oak, ash, or willow, which are also associated with different meanings.
  • Be mindful not to add too many natural elements to avoid the cords looking too heavy or overwhelming. Keep it simple and tasteful.

Guidance on keeping the decorations proportionate and aesthetically pleasing while staying within the wedding theme:

  • It’s important to keep the decorations proportionate and not to have too many elements in the cords.
  • When it comes to the aesthetics, it’s useful to choose elements that match the wedding theme, such as vintage or rustic style beads for a bohemian wedding or delicate crystal components for an elegant wedding.
  • It’s also essential that the decorations don’t take away from the meaning and significance of the handfasting ceremony.
  • Lastly, if you’re using natural elements such as flowers or leaves, be sure to trim them neatly to avoid any distractions or irregular shapes in the cords.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Make Handfasting Cords

What Is A Handfasting Cord?

A handfasting cord is a ribbon or cord used in pagan and wiccan wedding ceremonies as a symbol of unity.

How Long Should A Handfasting Cord Be?

A handfasting cord is typically 6 to 9 feet long, as it will be wrapped around the wrists of the couple several times.

What Materials Can I Use To Make A Handfasting Cord?

You can use various materials such as ribbons, cords, or even natural fibers like hemp, cotton, or silk to create a handfasting cord.

Can I Personalize A Handfasting Cord?

Yes, you can personalize a handfasting cord by using colors, patterns, and materials that have significance to you and your partner.

How Do I Incorporate The Handfasting Cord Into My Wedding Ceremony?

During the wedding ceremony, the couple’s hands are bound together with the handfasting cord, symbolizing their union and commitment to each other.


Crafting your own handfasting cords is a beautiful way to personalize your wedding ceremony and infuse it with meaning. Not only does this act allow you to harness your creativity and express your personality, but it also adds a layer of symbolism that holds significance for you and your partner.

Working with colors and textures that hold meaning for you can create a powerful connection between you, your partner, and your shared story. Handfasting cords are not just a pretty accessory, but a deeply meaningful and ancient symbol of love and commitment.

Whether you follow traditional steps or imbue your cords with your own twist, crafting your own handfasting cords can turn your wedding ceremony into a unique and intimate celebration of your love and connection as a couple. With these simple steps and meaningful touches, your handfasting cords can become a cherished memento of your special day and a symbol of the love that binds you together.

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